How Good Reading Habits Improve Content Writing
Written by Logan Lafferty on May 4, 2017
It was Stephen King, one of my favorite authors, who said, “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” I read that quote several years ago and it stuck with me. Reading and writing have a symbiotic relationship – each skill informs and improves the other. That’s one reason SCG’s content writing is so exceptional – we’re a bunch of bookworms!
We’re driven by the desire to serve our clients to the best of our ability. Every aspect of our integrated marketing program – research and branding, content marketing, web development and communications – is informed by keeping current with tech trends and industry innovations. But it’s also informed by our love of reading. More than a few of us frequent the Hennepin County Library on our lunch breaks, and SCG President Patricia Henning Strother is a founding member of the “Bookalicious” book club.
To King’s point, reading improves your writing through expanded vocabulary and understanding of language, among many other things. The area of your mind that you use to read is intrinsically linked to the area you use to write. When the reading cog in your brain machine begins to turn, it also turns the writing cog. By absorbing the work of established and accomplished writers, you are teaching yourself new ways construct a sentence and use description. The Huffington Post agrees.
Developing Good Reading Habits
I told myself at the beginning of 2017 that I wanted to read more because I wanted to expose myself to new authors to further improve my writing. If you’re anything like I am, you’d like to read more but aren’t sure how to fit it into your busy schedule. Reading can be an easy thing to push aside until there’s no time left. But if you make the effort, you’ll notice a marked boost to your creativity and quality of work. Below are three tips that helped me get into a reading groove:
- Make time. Don’t feel like you need to block off a large chunk of time to devote to reading. Every little bit counts – as long as you do it consistently. For me, I set aside an hour each night for reading and writing. Even carving out 15 minutes a day will make a world of difference. Using Audible on your commute is also an awesome, time-savvy option.
- Set realistic goals. Everybody reads at a different pace. That’s why it’s important to know in advance how much you’d like to get done in a sitting. Shoot for reading a chapter a day. Shoot for 20 pages. It’s not about reading quickly – it’s about absorbing the words and expanding your mind.
- Log your reading. It’s a satisfying feeling when you turn the last page of your book and close it. I find it even more satisfying to keep track of the books I’ve finished. It motivates me to make the list grow. You can use something as simple as notebook and pencil, but I like to use GoodReads (you can follow me here for book recommendations). It’s a great platform for all things reading and books. Don’t forget: the Notes app in your phone works great, too.
A Little Reading Inspiration
Using a self-imposed reading schedule, I’ve managed to finish a new book roughly every week for the past couple months (my total is 13 books read so far this year). Here’s a few of my latest favorites:
Brighton, by Michael Harvey: A gripping story of two childhood friends who take part in a violent incident, causing them to grow up on very different paths. Set in Boston, I found this one extremely difficult to put down.
The Apartment, by S.L. Grey: I’m a glutton for horror novels, and this story – about a couple house-swapping with another couple in Paris to find the apartment not quite as advertised – stuck with me longer after I’d finished it.
Tenth of December, by George Saunders: George Saunders is widely considered the master of the short story, and Tenth of December is the exemplar of that talent. Each story is chock-full of inventive, yet relatable human emotion.
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August, by Claire North: A refreshing and unique take on the concept of time travel, this was another book that I read through quickly. A man dies only to be born again, in the same time and place, yet retains all his memories of his previous life.
If you’re interested in seeing just how good the content writing produced by this agency full of bookworms is, shoot me an email. We’d love to give you a boost!